Who is Responsible for marketing tourism in your region?


the framework for tourism marketing differs by state, region and destination. here's an overview of marketing structures and how to work with them.

Most small regional tourism businesses will work between the Council, regional tourism body and the state body (STO).  

Councils, or Local Government

Councils fund the Regional Tourism Body and collectively may employ a Regional Tourism Manager whose role can be PR and media, marketing campaigns, branding, industry communication and advice/support about grants and events. Get to know this person well if you can. Most Councils are not marketing or business growth focused. They say they are, but they are not geared to do it and generally lack expertise in this area. They have a regulatory role, so will want to check your fire safety plans and licenses. At a Council level there may be a dedicated Tourism Officer who may publish a local business guide - make sure you are on it! (There might be a LGA or a LGTA, or some version of this acronym)


At a regional level, there is normally a Business or  Tourism Association, or Wine and Tourism Association or some version of this! There are also Chambers of Commerce which in some places are a bit dusty, but vibrant in others. Most charge a membership fee. Some will use funds for campaigns in the media to attract more visitors, others will be lobby groups. Check your local group to see their remit before joining and make sure you align with the group who is most likely to be the go-to for state government when they consult with your ‘regional industry’. In some regions State Tourism Ministers nominate the members of regional tourism boards, and some of thes boards are membership based, others are not. Some suffer from vested interest at the top, or lack real market power becasue they are an extension of the government, there to oversee, but not rock boats. While others are near commercial organisations rounding up sponsorship, managing attractions, implementing campaigns and generating revenue.


Every state has a tourism commission (STO) or body whose job it is to market the state’s industry mainly to main trade partners like wholesalers, motor associations, airlines and transport providers like cruise companies, airlines and rail or coach. They also market and manage major events. In Victoria it’s Visit Victoria, in SA it’s the SA Tourism Commission (SATC), in QLD it’s Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), there’s often a variation on a theme.  Sometimes the tourism marketing role is split from the industry development role, as in Victoria, meaning that if you are starting out, you take business advice from one and marketing advice from another. STOs work with state and national media, and with ‘champion’ products and experiences to promote the ‘best of’ the state’s tourism offer to consumers, via trade and media. THey are focused on branding. STOs are a link to Tourism Australia. Ideally they should be spruiking the best of state products and experiences, but it depends on the talent, skillset and leadership as to how engaged tourism commissions are with their regions.

Tourism Industry Councils are also at the state level and have members inclusing regions, and are excellent for networking, information about Tourism Awards, skills training and accreditation. They lobby, but don't market your region per se.

Contact us, call Susan Lee

0466 090 600